Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni
Aside the startling revelation that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) spent $20,000 of the $1.8 billion syndicated loan for the 2015/2016 crop season on renting a venue for a signing ceremony, the company has explained that $8,000 of that amount was used to secure a domain name for the designing of a special website.
It said the website was necessary for easy access to information relevant to the loan agreement.
The Public Relations Officer of COCOBOD, Noah Ameyah, who revealed this on the Citi Breakfast Show, explained that COCOBOD had to spend that amount on the website because it had some special security features that would prevent anyone from hacking into it.
The paper that we gave to Parliament indicated that it is a rental domain. The domain is the website domain that is created and it is mandatory on such used loans so that other banks and those involved can get the needed information on what the transaction is.
It is a special website called best website domain which will prevent anybody from breaking into it,” he explained. COCOBOD’s decision to spend thousands of dollars on renting a venue for a signing ceremony among others has angered some members of the Minority caucus in Parliament who raised concerns about the utilization of the syndicated loan proceeds in the House on Wednesday.
An amount of $169,000 was also spent as legal fees among other expenditure. The loan has attracted an interest of $4.1 million from October 2015 to January 2016.
Mr. Ameyah also defended COCOBOD’s decision to rent an apartment at such a cost, saying the move was to ensure the security of participants attending the signing ceremony.
“This signing ceremony did not happen in Ghana. It happened in France and you are bringing over 100 people, representing between 25 and 30 reputable banks and these banks are bringing their staff to represent them to find the facility and you have to protect them.”